Dragon Boat Festival, also known as Duanwu Festival, is a traditional and important celebration in China. Dragon Boat Festival 2017 falls on May 30 (Tuesday). China will have 3 days of holiday from Sunday (May 28) to Tuesday (May 30), and we will be back at work on Wednesday, June 4.
Dragon Boat Festival Facts.
- Chinese: 端午节 Duānwǔ Jié /dwann-woo jyeah/ ‘start [of the] fifth traditional solar month [June 6 to July 6] festival’
- Date: month 5 day 5 of the Chinese lunar calendar
- History: over 2,000 years
- Celebrations: dragon boat racing, health-related customs, honoring Qu Yuan and others
- Popular festival food: sticky rice dumplings (zongzi)
Learn more facts about the Dragon Boat Festival
What Is China’s Dragon Boat Festival?
It’s a folk festival full of traditions and superstitions, maybe originating from dragon worship; an event on the sporting calendar; and a day of remembrance/worship for Qu Yuan, Wu Zixu, and Cao E.
The festival has long been a traditional holiday in China. On May 20th 2006 it was selected into the first batch of National Intangible Cultural Heritage items. In 2008 it was first celebrated as a public holiday in China. And on October 30th 2009 it was added to the UNESCO World Intangible Cultural Heritage List.
Dragon Boat Racing — from legend to sporting event!
Dragon boat racing is said to originate from the legend of people paddling out on boats to seek the body of patriotic poet Qu Yuan (343–278 BC), who drowned himself in the Miluo River.
Dragon boat racing is the most important activity during the Dragon Boat Festival. The wooden boats are shaped and decorated in the form of a Chinese dragon. The boat size varies by region. Generally it is about 20–35 meters in length and needs 30–60 people to paddle it.
During the races, dragon boat teams paddle harmoniously and hurriedly, accompanied by the sound of beating drums. It is said that the winning team will have good luck and a happy life in the following year.
Dragon boat races are a major sporting event in many places, which competitors train hard for.